Sunday is the Super Bowl. Do you care?  Do your customers care?  Should you care?  Yes, is the correct answer to each of the questions (even if you really don’t care about the Super Bowl).

Here’s why — The Super Bowl is big. It’s the most watched televised event each year in the United States and typically rates very close in global viewers to many of the World Cup matches. So even if you don’t care, you do need to know who’s playing and what the overall storyline is going into the game.  This past week in nearly every conversation I’ve had with clients on the telephone, I’ve asked them their thoughts on the game and who they expect to win.   This is especially so if I’ve been talking to people who I suspect are either Green Bay or Pittsburgh fans.

I also freely share with them that I’m hoping the Green Bay Packers win (I’ve even said this to very vocal Pittsburgh Steeler fans!).   My objective is to generate conversation, help people feel comfortable and more than likely be able to generate additional discussion.

If you’re wondering what my results have been to date — 100% success!  I would hope you’ve been generating similar conversations with your customers.   If you’re wondering how my customers who are strong Steeler fans have accepted me wanting the competition to win, they’ve taken it fine. One customer even shared with me how they appreciate that I didn’t try and cover things up, but I came right out and said I am rooting for Green Bay.

The lesson I’m taking away from this is you want to be genuine and real with your customers. Allow your personality to come through and simply have a conversation with your customer.

If you’re wondering how I’ve responded to those customers who have said they couldn’t care less about the game, let me tell you.  I’ve said “good” and then went on to say thank you, because  now I won’t have to worry about offering them the extra tickets I had to the game.  Naturally, this drew a laugh, which again allowed for additional discussion to take place.   Another reason why I’m glad people told me they don’t care is I was able to make a note of it in their customer profile. Obviously, I won’t bring up the subject of football again with them.

For all of the people I talked to who said they really care about the Super Bowl, I intend to call each of them next week to talk about the game. It will be a great opportunity to further build a relationship with them regardless if their team won or lost.

I’m sharing this with you because I want to show you exactly how you can use an event as a tool to generate discussion with customers (loyal  ones and even prospects).

Next week make sure to take advantage of the Super Bowl and use it as a tool to generate discussions.   And take a look at the calendar and begin making note of the big events in your area or on the national or global level. These are prime opportunities to generate dialogue.   By planning ahead and using events like this, you can dramatically increase your ability to connect with customers.

If you’re wondering what are some of the events I’ll be looking at using in the next few months, they include:

  • Daytona 500
  • Opening day of Major League Baseball
  • NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments
  • Masters’ golf tournament
  • Easter
  • NBA Finals
  • NHL Finals

I’ll use some of them more broadly than others, but each one offers me the opportunity to connect with my customers.  How about you?  In what ways do you authentically generate conversation with your customers?

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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